Effects of planting density and cultural intensity on individual tree- and stand-level crown, stem, and growth characteristics of non-thinned and thinned loblolly pine plantations at ages 12 and 13 and during the 13th growing season in the Upper Coastal P
Akers, Katherine Madison
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Existing cultural intensity x planting density research installations were utilized to examine stem, crown, and growth attributes at ages 12 and 13 and during the 13th growing season in non-thinned and thinned loblolly pine plantations. Results showed that individual tree and stand-level stem and crown characteristics differed significantly by planting density, while differences between cultural intensities were minimal. This result suggests that at this stage of stand development, light limitations due to high stocking have a greater influence on growth than soil nutrient limitations for the loblolly pine plantations analyzed in this study. Interestingly, individual trees of a given DBH had similar crown characteristics regardless of the silvicultural treatments they received. For these stands, knowledge of DBH distribution appears to be a sufficient modeling tool regardless of past cultural or planting density treatment. Future research should include long-term analysis of these trends.